By Amy Bauer
Connect. Innovate. Grow. These three words represent everything the first-ever UW-Green Bay Comm Week embodied. More than 180 alumni, students and guests attended the event, which began on January 30, 2017 and concluded on February 2, 2017. During the week, attendees learned about the past, present, and future of the Comm program; built their skills with professional development activities; and connected with alumni, classmates, and faculty.
“This was a great kick-off to the semester. Let’s all stay dedicated to thinking strategically, communicating professionally and continuously improving.”
~ Dr. Phil Clampitt
#1: Student Leaders
Planning Comm Week was a unique, hands-on opportunity for several communication students. The Comm Week planning team consisted of Erica Ropson, Emily Vorpagel, Morgan Theobald, Hannah Koerner, and Avery Faehling. Senior Eli Hughes served as Director of Comm Week. For their work, the team was awarded the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) February Educational Program of the Month award. Hughes says directing the event was a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
“It was an opportunity to grow my experience and ability as a leader, a planner and a creative problem solver,” says Hughes. “Most importantly, it was an opportunity to give back to the UW-Green Bay Communication Department. Being able to benefit the Department and help future students have a similar experience was the best part. Knowing that what we did had an impact is very rewarding.”
#2: Varied Appeal
Comm Week appealed to numerous audiences including alumni, current students, faculty, and prospective students. Alumni both participated in and benefited from the week’s events. They were able to connect with faculty, staff and students as well as build their skills.
“Comm Week provided a great opportunity for communication students and alumni to get together and learn new information about this important program,” said Communication alumna and Director of Alumni Relations Kari Moody. “It was wonderful to see fellow graduates and meet students who are as passionate about this program as I am. It’s great to see this new initiative succeed. I can’t wait to return again next year.”
Current students were an integral part of Comm Week. Every event involved them, as they connected with UWGB’s brightest communication professionals. Communication Department faculty helped the event succeed through their support and guidance.
#3: Comm One, Comm All
More than 60 attendees, including current students in all grades and prospective students from Wisconsin high schools, learned about the Communication Department. They had the opportunity to talk with student representatives from each Comm emphasis, as well as representatives from student organizations like the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Students representing the public relations emphasis recall a high school student inquiring about the Communication Department. He wanted to know what set UW-Green Bay apart from other Wisconsin universities. Highlighting their positive experiences, the representatives said the relationships they developed with other students and their professors as well as the various hands-on opportunities in and out of the classroom makes the department exceptional.
#4: Crisis Averted! Capstone Preview
Alumni Erica Ropson and Dylan Buboltz presented a preview of the capstone level class “Cases in Communication and Media Management” on Tuesday. They prepared current communication students for their highest level class by providing tips on their final crisis management project — developing a pre-crisis plan and responding to a simulated crisis situation. Specifically, Ropson and Buboltz walked attendees through the pre-crisis plan they developed for the Los Angeles Rams and discussed how to hold an effective press conference.
#5: Alumni & Professors Tell All
Current Comm students benefited from a panel of UWGB alumni and professors, consisting of Dylan Buboltz, Nick Rudd, Professor Clampitt, and Professor Froelich on Wednesday. They answered questions about their careers and time at UWGB. Alumna Ericka Bloch also reflected on her experience with the Department.
“The challenges you face in Communication are designed to prepare you for the real world,” says Bloch. “The only true way to learn is by doing, and the projects you do are as close to the real thing as you can get without doing an internship. I truly believe that I could not have learned what I did without the amazing professors that were there for me throughout my time at UW-Green Bay.”
#6: Speaker Kristy Sipiorski
UW-Green Bay alumna Kristy Sipiorski, former social media manager and current solution design manager at Schneider in Green Bay, spoke about social media and her career on Wednesday. She was an integral part of developing Schneider’s social media approach, and discussed how the Communication Department influenced her work. The event was a great opportunity for local public relations and marketing specialists, alumni and communication students.
#7: Social Media Workshop
Professor Clampitt, Professor Bina, and Social Media Specialist Jena Richter Landers conducted a social media workshop on Thursday. The workshop covered topics on the social media industry and tips on social media application with a twist on strategy unique to the UWGB Communication Department. Current students and alumni, as well as local public relations and marketing specialists, benefited from this event.
#8 3x3x3: Speed Presenting COMMpetition
Five student groups participated in the 3x3x3 Speed Presenting COMMpetition on Thursday where they presented various projects completed for communication courses. Student groups had a 3 panel posterboard, 3 minutes to present and 3 minutes to answer questions. Alumni, faculty and local business leaders rotated and judged each groups’ case. The winners were awarded and recognized at the banquet that followed. First place went to “The Tenacious Turtles,” consisting of Danielle Shea, Amanda Danihel, Ben Spiering, Danielle LaPorte and Jule-Sophie Hermann, for their outstanding organizational communication presentation. Professor Clampitt said the distinguished judges for the competition were “amazed by the quality of presentations, the strategic thinking and the professionalism of the presenters.”
#9: Comm Banquet
More than 100 alumni, current students, and UW-Green Bay faculty attended the Comm Banquet on Thursday, concluding the week’s events. Attendees networked with communication peers and enjoyed dinner before listening to speakers from Dental City.
#10: Dental City Interview
Members of Dental City, a successful dental supply distributor in Green Bay, discussed their unique business culture and strategy in a panel interview led by Professor Clampitt during the Comm Banquet on Thursday. Communication student Alycia King notes that the speakers opened her eyes to new communication job opportunities that she hadn’t thought of prior to attending the event. She also learned that arguing in business is not necessarily bad – it can be a critical part of the decision-making process!
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